ROME – Rome's mayor, police chief and the pope's right-hand man in Rome have unanimously refused to grant Nazi war criminal Erich Priebke a church funeral or burial in the city where he was involved in one of the worst massacres in German-occupied Italy.
Priebke, who spent nearly 50 years on the run before being extradited to Italy from Argentina to stand trial, died Friday at age 100. He had been serving his life term under house arrest at the home of his lawyer, Paolo Giachini.
Rome's archdiocese made it official Monday, saying it had told Giachini to have the funeral at home, but that Giachini refused. He has insisted on a private church Mass. Pope Francis' vicar for Rome, Cardinal Agostino Vallini, has prohibited any Rome church from allowing it.